RealNews

Iraqi 'Sleepers' Seen as Threat to US Allies

Asean alert, terror warning. Thai Special Branch and most of their Asean counterparts have gone on special alert after credible reports Iraq is planning terrorist attacks in the region in the event of a war. The alert was heightened last month when officials confirmed contacts between the Iraqi embassy in Manila and the terrorist group Abu Sayyaf, diplomatic sources said. An Abu Sayyaf leader confirmed the gang had received Iraqi support. A senior Thai officer refused to confirm special measures aimed at the Iraq diplomatic mission in Bangkok. Officially, all foreign embassies and businesses are being watched. But diplomats cited a new warning that Iraq would try to launch terrorist attacks against citizens of the US and countries in “the coalition of the willing” and that Southeast Asia could be a major target. Iraq has not appointed an ambassador to Thailand for some time. The former charge{AAC} d’affaires, Thamir Kadhim, was criticised for participating in an anti-war rally at the National Mosque on Ramkhamhaeng road last September. But diplomatic sources said fears of Iraq-directed terrorism were separate from alleged political interference by the former Iraqi diplomat. The alert also is separate from a US warning yesterday that al-Qaeda terrorists may try to strike at US and allied forces if there is a war in Iraq. That alert focussed on a close associate of Osama bin Laden, Abu Musab Zarqawi, and warned of attacks inside Iraq by al-Qaeda members. Full Story

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